07/02/2022 – First Saturday
Today is First Saturday, a day dedicated to making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
St Bernardino Realino, today’s saint, had a pious, sheltered life until he went to university at age 16. He spent the next sixteen years studying, brawling and courting Signorina Calindra. When this lady suddenly died he was lost.
“While he was in that disturbed frame of mind, Bernardino earnestly prayed for light. One day as he was saying his (rosary) beads – it was in the month of September 1564 – another lady entered into his life, the Mother of God. Our Lady and her Holy Child appeared to him. Her holy presence filled his heart with overflowing joy, and swept from his mind the cobwebs of procrastination. The question was settled there and then, Bernardino entered the Jesuit novitiate of Naples on October 13th, (Catholic News World)
For the next 50 years, Bernardino lived his life under the mantle of Mary. Teaching, preaching, helping the poor, the sick and prisoners, hearing confession, etc. Everything he did he did in reparation.
As Father Bernardino lay dying he held his rosary and whispered Oh Santisima Signora Mia, “O Most Holy Lady Mine”. With Mary’s name on his lips, he breathed his last.